Asheville Greenworks seeking volunteers for WNC river cleanup

News

Weeks of flooding have filled North Carolina river and streams with garbage. 

On Wednesday, debris and trash were bagged up by a group of young volunteer from Florida that teamed up with Asheville Greenworks. 

“What did you find cleaning up the river?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman. 

“Found some poles. Lots of water bottles. Lots of little bits of trash,” said Zachary Pillai, from Tampa, Florida.” 

“We found cups, cans, a lot of stuff,” said Grace Hanlin, from Tampa, Florida. “Pretty much anything.” 

The fast moving flood waters picked up everything in its path and now it’s collecting in tributaries, creeks and streams. 

“We found a bunch of couch cushions yesterday,” Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Lillie Howell told 7News.  

Even soccer goals have been pulled out of the river. 

Asheville Greenworks is a volunteer based organization that hosts up to 200 cleanup days a year. Now more than ever the group is counting on people to help them out. 

“So what our groups have been doing is going out and hitting these areas where we’ve seen the most damage,” said Asheville Greenworks Director of Operations Eric Bradford. “We are trying to remove as much of the trash as we can.” 

In just a few hours, the volunteers were able to prevent a pile of trash from making its way into the water system and that makes al the difference. 

“If we catch the trash now, before it can get into the French Broad River, it’s so much easier than us putting boats in the water and trying to catch it then.” Bradford told 7News. “So we do our best to try to capture the trash before it can get in and breakdown into smaller pieces.” 

Asheville Greenworks is planning several more clean up days for next week. Count on 7News to let you know once those dates have been set. 

If you are interested in volunteering send your information to volunteer@ashevillegreenworks.org

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